Tesla has not received subpoena on Model 3 production, says company

Tesla Model 3

Tesla Inc has not received a U.S. subpoena related to its Model 3 production forecasts, the electric automaker stated on Friday, after a report that it dealt with a deepening criminal investigation about the projections.

The company has cooperated in replying to what it called a “voluntary request” for documents from the Department of Justice in September, a Tesla spokesperson stated. The agency is able to press criminal charges.

“We have not received a subpoena, a request for testimony, or any other official process, and there have been no extra document requests about this from the Department of Justice for months,” the spokesperson stated in an email.

The Federal Bureau of Investigation is checking whether the automaker misstated information regarding the production of its Model 3 sedans and misled investors regarding its business going back to early 2017, the Wall Street Journal reported, mentioning sources.

In recent weeks, FBI agents have contacted former Tesla workers to seek testimony in the criminal case, the report noted. The ex-employees received subpoenas previously in the probe, and FBI agents recently have sought to interview a number of those, the sources stated.

Any focus on Tesla’s earlier statements about Model 3 production targets would expand the investigation by the agency, which Tesla stated last month was looking at statements made by CEO Elon Musk about a go-private deal that was later called off.

Tesla first revealed in September that the DoJ was investigating Musk’s tweets about having “funding secured” for a deal to take company private, saying the agency had asked for documents about such statements.

Any expansion of the FBI’s investigation comes as Musk faces pressure to provide consistent production of the Model 3 at a profit. The company on Wednesday stated they earned profit and positive cash flow, making good on pledges made by Musk earlier this year, as the company increases volume of its new sedan.

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